Condescending or patronizing, how we forget until people get talked over. Tupac Shakur didn’t show up last night in Utah for the VP debate, but the truth got busted with a cap in its posterior.



— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 8, 2020

So much disinformation and misinformation combined with deflection last night. So much fact-checking, so little time. WaPo chose 15 of them.

In the vice-presidential debate, Vice President Pence took a number of flimsy claims out of the Trump playbook, although he often delivered them more deftly. Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) also stretched the truth at times. Here is a roundup of 15 suspect claims that were made. As is our practice, we do not award Pinocchios when we do a roundup of facts in debates.

“[We] secured 4 trillion dollars in the Congress of the United States to give direct payments to families, saved 50 million jobs through the Paycheck Protection Program.”

— Pence

This “50 million jobs” claim is a dubious number cooked up by the Trump administration. In fact, officials told Reuters that the number referred not to jobs saved, but the total number of workers reported by businesses approved for a loan under the program.

“The PPP likely did not save 51 million jobs, or anywhere close to it,” Reuters concluded after interviews with economists and an analysis of the program’s data. “Half a dozen economists put the number of jobs saved by the initiative at only a fraction of 51 million — ranging between one million and 14 million.”
Moreover, The Washington Post dug into the data behind the 51-million figure, collected by the Small Business Administration, and found “half a dozen businesses that said they had fewer employees than the SBA reported the businesses had retained. Bankers also said employment figures for hundreds of businesses had been incorrectly reported by the SBA.” For instance, Fire Protection Systems, a sprinkler system installer in Kent, Wash., retained more than 500 jobs using its PPP funds, according to the data. But the company says it has only 20 employees.


“They want to abolish fossil fuels and ban fracking, which would cost hundreds of thousands of American jobs all across the heartland.”
— Pence
False. Biden has said he would not issue new permits for fracking on federal lands but would allow existing operations to continue. That position has earned him detractors among climate activist groups.
During her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, Harris supported a total ban on fracking. But Biden’s position has not budged, not in the primary when Republicans claimed it had and not now.
Fracking, short for “hydraulic fracturing,” is a drilling technique that uses high-pressure water and chemical blasts to access natural gas and oil reserves underground. The technique has facilitated a boom in U.S. energy production over the past decade, but it has been controversial, the target of climate-change activists and many Democrats.
The issue is important to Pennsylvania because underneath about two-thirds of the state is the Marcellus shale formation — which also covers parts of New York, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland.…


Our post-debate poll with @Ipsos shows voters liked Harris's performance better and her favorable ratings improved. But no change in numbers for the top of the ticket.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) October 8, 2020

The next step seems to be vote-buying in the face of withdrawing from debates.


— Brad Heath (@bradheath) October 8, 2020

In other strangeness:


— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) October 8, 2020


— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) October 8, 2020


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